01.07.16: Bearded Politicians, A History of Flatulists, & Salman Rushdie

Jan 7, 2016

In November, Paul Ryan stepped onto the floor of the US Capital sporting a beard, the first bewhiskered Speaker of the House in a century. On today’s show, has the beard boom hit Washington?  

Then, from Bill Clinton to Ben & Jerry--when campaign season hits, political surrogates come out of the woodwork. We'll find out who is stumping for whom, and why it matters.

We’ll also open the history books for a serious look at a surprisingly well-rewarded skill, with roots reaching back to ancient Sumerians: professional flatulence.

Listen to the full show. 

The History of Bearded Politicians

Will Paul Ryan's facial hair mark a new trend of politicians donning facial hair, or is this just a blip on the timeline of facial fashion?  Phil Edwards is a video editor at Vox, where he also writes about ephemera - including the history of facial hair.  

See our idea of how candidates could up their beard game here: The Hairy Business of Political Facial Hair

Related: Every Congressmen with Facial Hair in One Glorious Chart

Shirley Chisholm: The Politics of Principle

This election cycle is full of people claiming to be “political outsiders”, who are “taking on the establishment”.  In their series, Contenders, producers Joe Richman and Samara Freemark of Radio Diaries profiled one of the greatest political outsiders in recent memory – Shirley Chisholm.

You can listen to this segment again at PRX.org.

Surrogate Candidates

Here in New Hampshire, we're privy to some of the big-wig campaign surrogates out knocking on doors and shaking hands on behalf of presidential candidates - Boston Globe reporter Akilah Johnson joined us to talk about who is out stumping for whom, and why it matters: "Surrogates Play a Key Role in N.H. Politicking"

Roland the Farter

There is a largely unknown history of professional flatulence...a once profitable calling that has mostly been killed by the internet. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie wrote about what may be the world's oldest joke for Atlas Obscura: "The True Story of Roland the Farter"

10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie joined Virginia at the Music Hall in Portsmouth last October to speak about his novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Days. Before the show, we sat down with him in the green room to learn about his writing process, as part of our series the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop

You can listen to this 10-Mintue Writer's Workshop again here